And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
7. פרזי perı̂zı̂y, Perizzi, "descendant of Paraz." פרז pārāz, "leader," or inhabitant of the plain or open country.
10. ככר kı̂kar, "circle, border, vale, cake, talent;" related: "bow, bend, go round, dance." ירדן yardēn, Jardan, "descending." Usually with the article in prose. צער tso‛ar, Tso'ar, "smallness."
18. ממרא mamrē', Mamre, "fat, strong, ruler." חברון chebrôn, Chebron, "conjunction, confederacy."
Lot has been hitherto kept in association with Abram by the ties of kinmanship. But it becomes gradually manifest that he has an independent interest, and is no longer disposed to follow the fortunes of the chosen of God. In the natural course of things, this under-feeling comes to the surface. Their serfs come into collision; and as Abram makes no claim of authority over Lot, he offers him the choice of a dwelling-place in the land. This issues in a peaceable separation, in which Abram appears to great advantage. The chosen of the Lord is now in the course of providence isolated from all associations of kindred. He stands alone, in a strange land. He again obeys the summons to survey the land promised to him and his seed in perpetuity.
Went up out of Mizraim. - Egypt is a low-lying valley, out of which the traveler ascends into Arabia Petraea and the hill-country of Kenaan. Abram returns, a wiser and a better man. When called to leave his native land, he had immediately obeyed. Such obedience evinced the existence of the new power of godliness in his breast. But he gets beyond the land of promise into a land of carnality, and out of the way of truth into a way of deceit. Such a course betrays the struggle between moral good and evil which has begun within him. This discovery humbles and vexes him. Self-condemnation and repentance are at work within him. We do not know that all these feelings rise into consciousness, but we have no doubt that their result, in a subdued, sobered, chastened spirit, is here, and will soon manifest itself.
And Lot with him. - Lot accompanied him into Egypt, because he comes with him out of it. The south is so called in respect, not to Egypt, but to the land of promise. It acquired this title before the times of the patriarch, among the Hebrew-speaking tribes inhabiting it. The great riches of Abram consist in cattle and the precious metals. The former is the chief form of wealth in the East. Abram's flocks are mentioned in preparation for the following occurrence. He advances north to the place between Bethel and Ai, and perhaps still further, according to Genesis 13:4, to the place of Shekem, where he built the first altar in the land. He now calls on the name of the Lord. The process of contrition in a new heart, has come to its right issue in confession and supplication. The sense of acceptance with God, which he had before experienced in these places of meeting with God, he has now recovered. The spirit of adoption, therefore, speaks within him.
in cattle, in silver, and in gold; cattle are mentioned first, as being the principal part of the riches of men in those days, such as sheep and oxen, he and she asses and camels, see Genesis 12:16 and besides these he had great quantities of silver and gold: the Jews say (s) he coined money in his own name, and that his coin had on one side an old man and an old woman, and on the other side a young man and a young woman. His riches no doubt were greatly increased by the gifts and presents he received from the king of Egypt during his stay there.And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. cattle … silver … gold] Abram’s wealth described in an ascending scale of value. Cf. Genesis 12:16, Genesis 24:35.
on his journeys] i.e. by successive encampments.
the place … his tent] See Genesis 12:8; to which passage also the phrases “at the beginning,” and “at the first” (Genesis 13:3-4) refer.Verse 2. - And Abram was very rich. Literally, weighty; used in the sense of abundance (Exodus 12:38; 1 Kings 10:2; 2 Kings 6:14). In cattle. Mikneh, from kana, to acquire by purchase, may apply to slaves as well as cattle (cf. Genesis 17:12, 13, 23). In silver and gold. Mentioned for the first time in Scripture; implying an acquaintance among the Egyptians with the operations of mining and the processes of refining the precious metals. Cf. the instructions of Amenemhat I., which speak of that monarch, belonging to the twelfth dynasty, as having built for himself a palace adorned with gold (vide 'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. p. 14). Genesis 17:17 and Genesis 12:4), her beauty at such an age has been made a difficulty by some. But as she lived to the age of 127 (Genesis 23:1), she was then middle-aged; and as her vigour and bloom had not been tried by bearing children, she might easily appear very beautiful in the eyes of the Egyptians, whose wives, according to both ancient and modern testimony, were generally ugly, and faded early. Pharaoh (the Egyptian ouro, king, with the article Pi) is the Hebrew name for all the Egyptian kings in the Old Testament; their proper names being only occasionally mentioned, as, for example, Necho in 2 Kings 23:29, or Hophra in Jeremiah 44:30. For Sarai's sake Pharaoh treated Abram well, presenting him with cattle and slaves, possessions which constitute the wealth of nomads. These presents Abram could not refuse, though by accepting them he increased his sin. God then interfered (Genesis 12:17), and smote Pharaoh and his house with great plagues. What the nature of these plagues was, cannot be determined; they were certainly of such a kind, however, that whilst Sarah was preserved by them from dishonour, Pharaoh saw at once that they were sent as punishment by the Deity on account of his relation to Sarai; he may also have learned, on inquiry from Sarai herself, that she was Abram's wife. He gave her back to him, therefore, with a reproof for his untruthfulness, and told him to depart, appointing men to conduct him out of the land together with his wife and all his possessions. שׁלּה, to dismiss, to give an escort (Genesis 18:16; Genesis 31:27), does not necessarily denote an involuntary dismissal here. For as Pharaoh had discovered in the plague the wrath of the God of Abraham, he did not venture to treat him harshly, but rather sought to mitigate the anger of his God, by the safe-conduct which he granted him on his departure. But Abram was not justified by this result, as was very apparent from the fact, that he was mute under Pharaoh's reproofs, and did not venture to utter a single word in vindication of his conduct, as he did in the similar circumstances described in Genesis 10:11-12. The saving mercy of God had so humbled him, that he silently acknowledged his guilt in concealing his relation to Sarah from the Egyptian king.
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